Spurred to action by the European Union and a vision for a pan-European ecological network, France encoded the idea of the “trames vertes et bleues” into law in 2009. The national government worked with all the regional governments to develop maps showing areas with the highest levels of biodiversity. This includes protected areas, stretches of coastline, riparian zones, woods, and other undeveloped areas, whether public or private. The maps also show ecological corridors – both those in good condition needing to be preserved, and those that are highly degraded and requiring restoration.
The regional maps are meant to be integrated into urban planning at the level of city and county (department). Rather than being a regulatory tool, the maps are an information source allowing urban development to proceed in a way that limits impact on biodiversity. The ecological corridor initiative is designed as an invitation and encouragement to local governments, organizations, businesses and individuals to collaborate and to act in favor of biodiversity.
The preservation and restoration of ecosystem connectivity entails acting everywhere possible: in rural environments, in aquatic ecosystems and in urban areas [MTES 2017, translation].